THE CAPSTONE PROJECT – D.A.N.I.E.L (A short Animation)

This was my final work following the last project of my 1st term at Kingston University (a.k.a Starting Point project). As every student designed a creative brief to work on it for this final project, below here indicates my own brief design: ———————————————————————————————————————————- TOPIC: DREAM

What is dream? Do we really need to have dream? Why is it important? People often talk about dream, faith, hope and fears. Is there any difference between those terms? Do they create the same meaning and value to us?

We also think that dream is something more for children than adults because adults are looking at reality of life as without lucks and miracles and so forth. However, we all know that all grown-ups were once children. Thus, why is there a change in the perception of dream and reality?

Disney is a typical example for giving the inspirations and direction of belief in your dream that your dream will come true. This project requires you to appreciate the value of having a dream for everyone and then to develop an idea to create a design that will communicate the meaning of dream with its audience.

It does not matter how you are going to do for your research, collecting data and so forth but it is important that you also have the sense and feeling to believe in the beauty of a dream.

There is also no limit for the outcome of your design (i.e. poster, photography, video, website, phone app, etc..) but it might be emotional, sensitive and have capacity to inspire and motivate its audience to keep following their dreams.



We are designing ANYTHING




—————————————————————————- ———————————————————————————————————————————

Based on the inspiration from dream concept, I firstly intended to come up with the outcomes of a movie (live-action, animation, teaser or trailer or all of everything), poster, comic book, accessories and so forth. Of course, I finally could only finish one of those ideas as a short animation to motivate the children about… dream (?)



* Not-for-me: to gain the useful skills which are needed on the market

* For myself only: to improve the path of becoming an animator and motion graphic designer as to experiment new knowledge and challenge. To make an animation was always my main target from the first day I attended to GDCP course.


This YouTube clip sends a good and clear message to every business, whether it is small or large:

First and foremost, I am gonna get back to clarify the point above “to gain the useful skills which are needed on the market”. In my opinion, Graphic Design is just a good tool to communicate with your clients, your customers and people in general through visual methods. However, it could not be denied that the change and development of technology has always contributed a huge impact on everything around us. Adding to this point, people learn things by their senses through reading, seeing, listening and so on (Learning Style Online, n.d). As everyone can see, how fast a child can play with a computer, a smart phone, etc.. in recent years compared to old generation. In other words, in the term of business and communication, with the fast race and the current development of in the whole world, people increasingly need to quickly acquire and choose to consume the media product that helps them absorb information faster.

In addition, a movie and especially a short one will truly become the top choice in order to exchange of information, knowledge and so forth for everything and for everyone.

And sorry… it is not the future, that’s what happening at the moment.

According to Wyzowl ‘s blog (2015), it has been stated that “Animated videos are taking over the video marketing world so it’s important to have your own in order to keep up!”. That became the big reason and motivation for me to decide learning to make an animation, not only for my own interest but also to invest in a solid preparation a future of being a graphic designer, namely a motion graphic designer and animator.

  • Motion graphic = a new, interactive and powerful way to transferring and moving the regular designs from static into dynamic as giving a soul to all the creative works

PROCESS – the biggest requirement of my course


– 1st month to learn new softwares: Adobe After Effect CC, Animation Studio, ToonBoom Studio, Adobe Premier, Adobe Audition (for sounding).. besides reading relevant book and doing proper research

– 2nd month: getting first tablet to draw and design

– 3rd month: finish half of movie

– 4th month – deadline: finish the project by any price

What happened?

Out of plan due to understand the main purpose of the course as practicing the research skills and animation, moving images, motion graphic and so forth were an enormous data and information to be able to absorb as soon. It was also hard to start making something without having any background, not only about graphic design in general but everything else. However, animating was the toughest challenge from beginning but was also the most interesting one ever for my creative process. List of reading through the journey of making the first animation

  • Chong, A. (2008) Digital Animation
  • Cristiano, G. (2008) The storyboard design course: the ultimate guide for artists, directors, producers and scriptwriters
  • Krasner, J. S. (2013) Motion graphic design: applied history and aesthetics
  • Wells, P. (2006) The fundamentals of animation
  • White, T. (2006) Animation: from pencils to pixels: classical techniques for digital animators
  • Zeegen, L. (2009) What is Illustration?

I completely finished all those books and the list could keep going further if I put all of the research on Internet but I had them here to just show the evidence of doing research as I could point out what all of them were about. However, even though I read them until the end for the process of making my animation, I did not learn that much. I kept reading because of my bad habit that when I started something, I would only be able to stop until it has been done.

—–> Plan B With what happened as out of plan as mentioned above, I knew I would not be able to make my animation on time if kept spending time to do research. I re-organised my schedule and chose to minimize the final outcome as focused on working with solutions. In fact, I have told myself many time to quit or asked myself “Why I needed to make it so harsh for me like this?” Nonetheless, I knew I loved what I was doing and after getting up and down again and again, I knew when I got over this, I would be able to stand stronger than ever.



Title – Resilence

Category – Graphic animation (more about doing graphic than illustration)

Storyline/ Script idea

Daniel was a little boy (7-11 years old) who had a big passion in drawing and painting as his dream is to become an illustrator. Even though he tried his best to follow his interest, his parents, teachers and friends in school or anyone else obviously didn’t support him on that. After failing many competitions in Art at his school and so forth (he already kept trying and trying again and again), Daniel finally threw all his drawing kits (as he always considered before as his best buddy in life) and decided to quit his dream and pursue his family’s direction to become an engineer and later a scientist.

At the age of 77, he successfully and accidentally invented the Time-Machine. After a while of thinking and wondering, Daniel grabbed something on his desk and jumped into the machine and went back to the moment when he himself at the aged of 11 tossed all his drawing stuffs. The-old Daniel met the-young Daniel and slowly gave “himself”, the little boy from a long time past ago, a pencil.


Target market Children but seems to be for everyone as also

Message Reminding audiences that everyone has a dream or passion of doing something. Life can change their mind for what they are doing or going to do as to leave their dream behind. Nonetheless, the animation only want to announce the audiences about having a dream but do not intend to tell them what and how to do with their dream. It is always everyone’s own choice but just don’t forget.. “You have dream big at least once in your life”.

Length 1-2 mins

Storyboard (Raw materials)

Main character design (2 options)

20150513_075801 20150513_075811 20150513_075821 He loves drawing

20150513_075830 But others don’t

20150513_075841 Friends bully him

20150513_075851 Teachers complain

20150513_075902 Parents don’t support

20150513_075912 Follow the common direction isn’t the path he wants

20150513_075925 However, it is always not easy to achieve what he really wants

20150513_075938 He finally chooses to become someone else

20150513_075947 Live and work for the dreams of others

20150513_075957 And he suddenly, accidentally invented the Time Machine

20150513_080005 He goes back through time.. to give a pencil to himself of his childhood memory.

Test footages

After all, I couldn’t follow this concept to finish my animation because it took a lot of time and especially was for me to own a better computer. Moreover, my critical part kept repeating me about how it didn’t accept this kind of quality for the animation. Hence, I moved on to the plan B as above with a whole new of concept, storyboard, character design and so forth.




Title – It’s about Daniel (more simple) 

Category – a teaser not a full movie –> the message would not be clear and everything stayed in a general meaning


01 Introduction

02 This is a story not about a box 03 It’s about Daniel

04 Dan really loves pets

05 He also enjoys the beauty of flowers 06 And staying under a starry starry night 07 As we all might see this in a summer day (hope you know Vincent)

08 (There is something Dan truly doesn’t like such as Computer, Smartphone and Xbox)

09 But above all

10 Just like anyone of us

11 Dan has his own great dream


And here is the final outcome:

There were many editions before coming up with this. However, I finally chose this one to submit for the final outcome.

 * Voice-over by CJ Boucher Media (in corporation with my friend who is also a Kingston student studying Master in Music Production)

 * Music/ SFX by me with my piano as I composed the song on my own based on a familiar melody that every children could recognized it after a music class.



Everything would mean nothing without research and that was the reason I have volunteered to be the teaching assistant at Pelham Primary School to have the chance to reach my real target market – children. I have showed my animation to the children of two group with aged from 6-7 (7 students) and 7-11 years old (24 students). As Business was my background last year, I understood how value a practical survey and real qualitative research could contribute enough and make my capstone project complete.

Feedback paper design Because the smaller group with aged from 6-7 years old were still not be able to do writing, I had an in-depth conversation with them about my animation. 7 over 7 students of them liked my movie, wanted to see the full-length version and some of them told me Daniel reminded them about their dad. That’s super cute. Some comment of children with aged from 7-11 years old: As the top and best comment so far from Imke (2015), that little 10 years old boy said he would look forward for the full animation because he “wanted to find out more about Daniel”. Imke appreciated Daniel about the love for flowers because Imke also like “natur to” (that’s how Imke wrote) and hated electronics. Adding to that point, Imke also mentioned that “Personlly, I don’t hate them but I agree that you should play less on them and follow your dream”.

I nearly cried on the train back home when read all those comment and what I have got by the this practical research has become something better than anything else in my life after all. The children loved my animation and it would be the biggest motivation for me to keep going on the path of an animator. A lovely picture from the class at Pelham Primary School, Wimbledon


CRITICAL AGAIN – another biggest requirement of my course

If I need to be critical about my practical research, I know it was a small data with only 31 children who studied in a same school, environment and might have the similar perspective and… (?)



Deetslist (2014) ‘ Why your Business Needs a Business Video ‘, [Online] Jan 1st, 2014. Available at: [Accessed: 12th May 2015]

Learning Style Online (n.d) ‘Overview of Learning Styles’ [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 12th May 2015]

Wyzowl (2015) ‘ Let’s Compare: Animated Video Production Software ‘, Apr 15th 2015 [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 12th May 2015]


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